Oct 06 2012

Paul’s Monthly Tips to Live for Less in Costa Rica

Listed below are all of my money-saving tips to-date.

  1. Video – Paul’s Money-Saving Tip: Live at the Cabinas
  2. Paul’s Monthly Tip to Live for Less in Costa Rica: The Gold Card-Don’t Leave Home Without It!
  3. Paul’s Monthly Tip to Live for Less in Costa Rica: $1 Lunch at the Central Market
  4. Paul’s Monthly Tip to Live for Less in Costa Rica: Taking the Bus
  5. Paul’s Monthly Tip to Live for Less in Costa Rica: Eat Less Meat and More Fruits and Vegetables
  6. Paul’s Monthly Tip to Live for Less in Costa Rica: Join the Caja, Costa Rica’s National Medical System
  7. Paul’s Monthly Tip to Live for Less in Costa Rica: Buy Local
  8. Paul’s Monthly Tip to Live for Less in Costa Rica: Shop at Ropa Americana
  9. Paul’s Monthly Tip to Live for Less in Costa Rica: Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow
  10. Paul’s Monthly Tip to Live for Less in Costa Rica: Speak Spanish-Save Money
  11. Paul’s Monthly Tip to Live for Less in Costa Rica: Don’t Buy a Car
  12. Paul’s Monthly Tip to Live for Less in Costa Rica: Visiting the Veterinarian
  13. Paul’s Monthly Tip to Live for Less in Costa Rica: Visiting the Dentist
  14. Paul’s Monthly Tip to Live for Less in Costa Rica: Visiting the Dentist, Part 2
  15. Paul’s Monthly Tip to Live for Less in Costa Rica: Save on Telephone Service
  16. Paul’s Monthly Tip to Live for Less in Costa Rica: Buy Fresh Flowers
  17. Paul’s Monthly Tip to Live for Less in Costa Rica: Pay Cash and Save

But I wanted to draw your attention to Tip #11 “Don’t Buy a Car.”As you will see in this article, it’s probably the number one way to save money in Costa Rica.  If you do decide to purchase a car, there are the initial expenses of the car purchase. Read the breakdown here.

So, why am I writing again about saving money on your vehicle? It’s simple – once you’ve got the car, the on-going repairs and maintenance are extremely reasonable. Take a look at our February budget. You’ll see $1,100 for repairs after a minor fender-bender, about $550 each for parts and labor. In the States, that repair, covering front lights, hood, bumper and one side-panel, would easily be $3,000-$4,000, maybe more. The lesson is, once you buy that expensive car, maintaining it should be extremely reasonable. Of course, it helps to have a good mechanic, and I’ve got a real good one. They’re like gold!

In terms of every-day maintenance, some things will cost more and some will be less than in the U.S. Generally speaking, the labor is inexpensive, while the parts can be high. Oil changes are expensive because oil is expensive. Gas is also expensive, now about $5 per gallon, however you will drive much less here than in the States. I drive about 8,000 miles a year here. Remember, it’s a small country.

 

 

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